Monday, January 5, 2009

School = Stress

Yesterday, I was a bit apprehensive about returning to school. The holiday was such a welcomed relief that it was so hard for me to go back to all that work. When I am on holiday I have no care in the world. I can get up at 11 am or noon everyday and not have to worry about getting up at 5 am to catch the bus. Usually I am the first person in the laboratory in the mornings and most often the last person to leave. After a long day of carrying out scientific experiments, running to the library every minute and writing research papers I am dead tired. When I get home at 7:30 pm. all I can do is watch a few of my favourite programs (half asleep), eat then collapse in my bed. Four hours later the cycle starts all over again. It takes someone of really strong will and determination to do what I do everyday because it really becomes draining.

Now for the shocker! I am not actually a student. I graduated college a few years ago with an honours degree but I was unable to find employment. All the jobs I applied to told me I was either too qualified or not qualified enough. But being the stubborn person that I am, I refused to engage in mediocre work just to get money. After slaving away for so many years and spending all my time and resources to get a good education why would I want to resort to jobs I could have easily gotten without a degree? Going to college would have just been a complete waste of my time. I have been told that my view on this issue is stupid but I really don’t care. It makes perfect sense to me and that’s all that matters.

As a driven individual, I therefore made it my duty to strengthen my qualifications so I would be better able to get employment. Nothing beats experience and so I went back to school to get more of it. However trying to improve my skills as a scientist has proven to be extremely challenging. All my savings has been depleted, so I have no money at all and most days I go without even eating lunch. Sometimes if I am lucky I manage to sneak breakfast in before I leave home. All my money goes to the bus, which is the cheapest form or transportation I can afford. Yes, a lot of people think I am stupid for doing this too but I have only one life to live and I want to make sure that I am spending every minute of it doing something I love. Money isn’t everything, happiness is.

Despite the fact that school is so stressful and I am technically working without being paid, I love what I do. On the surface it might appear that this is pointless but I am doing great research which will ultimately help me to get into graduate school and eventually get my name on a scientific publication. Everything I do has a purpose, even if scoffers can’t immediately decipher what it is I am trying to accomplish. Additionally on days like today, when I am surrounded by such great friends and generous people it all seems worth it. Someone even offered to pay for my bus fare tomorrow, after I told them what was happening, but being the person I am, I couldn’t take her money. I don’t want to feel like charity. I laughed a lot today and if felt great. I saw, spoke and interacted with a lot of happy people today and it felt great. Going to school is stressful but despite the lack of recognition as an official student and the struggles I have to endure just to move further up the ladder, days like today are worth it.

My lifestyle might not be glamorous and fast paced. My life might suck more than most but it doesn’t make sense complaining about it, just make the most of what you have.

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